The U.S. Army is looking to offload a used and abused Airbus A300 in China Airlines livery from its Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. The Army notes that the aircraft was used for “Government testing” and as the result of the testing, it “is not a functional plane”. They’re not kidding.
The A300, in a picture Aviation Week took earlier this summer, was most likely used in “least-risk bomb location” (LRBL) testing which is used to determine where onboard an aircraft a crew would want to place an explosive if found.
By FAA regulations finalized in 2008, commercial aircraft holding more than 60 passengers or weighing more than 100,000 lb. must have a designated LRBL, a location “where a bomb or other explosive device could be placed to best protect flight-critical structures or systems from damage in case of detonation”.
In arequest for information issued August 15, the Army says it needs to get the Airbus removed by Sept. 23 to make room for a “new test asset”.
That new test asset is likely to be a Boeing 757 or a Boeing 767 that has a pressurizable cabin and will likely be flown in to Aberdeen. The Army purchased one of each for $765,000 and $975,000, respectively, from Clear Sky Aviation in Marana, Arizona a few weeks ago
No details on what type of testing, LRBL or other, will take place on the big Boeings or when.
Here’s a link to an earlier blog on the topic as well as an Aviation Week story.